The true tragic history behind Cleveland's haunted Franklin Castle

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Perhaps, it is the dark Victorian style the Franklin Castle is built in that has fed the imagination of those that believe in ghosts.

More likely, it is the tragic history of the family that lived in the Ohio City home originally, that added fuel to fire when rumors of strange happenings began surfacing decades ago.

"Everything from doors opening and closing. Footsteps. Things moving around. Some people have reported putting something down and then going back later to find it, and it wouldn't be there, and then the next day, it would be in a different room on a different floor," said William Krejci, the co-author of a new book titled, Haunted Franklin Castle.

Hannes Tiedemann and his wife Louise, suffered through the deaths of four children.

Hannes was a banker and co-founder of Union Banking & Savings Co. in Cleveland. He built the infamous home in 1881 and named it after the road it was on -- Franklin Castle.

It's also known as the Hannes Tiedemann House and makes nearly every list of most haunted places in America.

Tiedemann's mother died, and then his wife passed away at 57.

After so much death surrounded him, eyebrows were raised and suspicions surfaced about Hannes Tiedemann.

But, Krejci says any dark rumors about Hannes Tiedemann were completely unfounded.

"They were very kind people. Mr. Tiedemann was a benefactor of the community. He was a generous man. He gave often to various charities. He was not the monster that has been made out in all these stories about the castle. There's just no truth to that," said Krejci.

Krejci has had some of his own unexplained experiences while inside the home.

"Small stuff. Footsteps, voices and/or the radio turning on, on my phone. Things like that," added Krejci.

He said nothing that happened scared him.

"It's kind of cool actually," said Krejci.

The castle's storied past is what he said intrigues him most.

And, there are so many tales to tell -- things like hidden rooms, outrageous parties and colorful occupants.

Actress Judy Garland's last husband, Michael DeVinko, was, at one time, one of the castle's owners.

"He would have these huge parties - had some really interesting guests that would show up," said Krejci.

According to Krejci, four people have died in Franklin Castle, but none of those deaths were proven to be foul play.

Right now, the property is undergoing major renovations and is a private residence.

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